A:

The distributions are different for IRAs, qualified plans and 403(b) plans.

For IRAs, qualified plans (such as 401(k), money purchase and profit sharing plan), and 403(b) plans, distributions that occur before the participant reaches age 59.5 are subject to the 10% excise tax (early-distribution penalty) unless the participant meets an exception. The lists of exceptions for each of the different plans share some similarities, but there are some differences as well.

Distributions from IRAs are left to the discretion of the IRA owner and can occur at any time. For qualified plans and 403(b) plans, the participant must meet at least one of a list of requirements before he/she can receive distributions from the plan.

For the list of exceptions for IRA distributions, see our IRA tutorial. Also see our tutorials on qualified plans and on 403(b) plans - each one devotes an entire section to distributions.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(
Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS
  1. Am I losing the right to collect spousal Social Security benefits before I collect ...

    The short answer is yes, if you haven't reached age 62 by December 31, 2015. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 disrupted ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the maximum I can receive from my Social Security retirement benefit?

    The maximum monthly Social Security benefit payment for a person retiring in 2016 at full retirement age is $2,639. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I file taxes for income from foreign sources?

    If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, your income (except for amounts exempt under federal law), including that which ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are target-date retirement funds good investments?

    The main benefit of target-date retirement funds is convenience. If you really don't want to bother with your retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Where else can I save for retirement after I max out my Roth IRA?

    With uncertainty about the sustainability of Social Security benefits for future retirees, a lot of responsibility for saving ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Will quitting your job hurt your 401(k)?

    Quitting a job doesn't have to impact a 401(k) balance negatively. In fact, it may actually help in the long run. When leaving ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Is it Safe for Retirees to Invest in Technology?

    Tech stocks are volatile creatures, but there are ways even risk-adverse retirees can reap rewards from them. Here are some strategies.
  2. Retirement

    Roth IRAs Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a Roth IRA is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  3. Retirement

    Retirees: How to Survive When Interest Rates Drop

    Low interest rates are a portfolio killer if you're living off of investment income. Some strategies for dealing.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Mutual Funds You Wish You Could Include In Your 401(k)

    Discover four mutual funds everybody wishes were in their 401(k)s. Learn which five-star-rated no-load funds leave their competition in the dust.
  5. Insurance

    Beware the Sneaky Math of Universal Life Insurance

    Universal life insurance's cash value can be a cash cow – if there's any left. Read on to see if it'll work as an income source after you've retired.
  6. Term

    How Traditional IRAs Work

    A traditional IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments.
  7. Taxes

    Why People Renounce Their U.S Citizenship

    This year, the highest number of Americans ever took the irrevocable step of giving up their citizenship. Here's why.
  8. Retirement

    5 Reasons Millennials Lead in Saving for Retirement

    Say what you want to about millennials but the one thing they are doing better than any other generation is saving for retirement. Here's why.
  9. Retirement

    Shopping the New Retirement Products

    There are more options than ever for retirement portfolios these days. Choosing the right product comes down to your needs, time and management style.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 PIMCO Funds for Retirement Diversification in 2016

    Explore analyses of the top three PIMCO funds for 2016 and learn how these funds can be used to create a diversified retirement portfolio.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Sequence Risk

    The risk of receiving lower or negative returns early in a period ...
  2. Nursing Home Resident Trust Fund

    An account in a nursing home that helps residents manage finances ...
  3. Backdoor Roth IRA

    A method that taxpayers can use to place retirement savings in ...
  4. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  5. Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

    A Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) is a deferred annuity ...
  6. Wealth Management

    A high-level professional service that combines financial/investment ...
Trading Center